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Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Page: 6182

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

(Question No. 1982)


Senator Abetz asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, upon notice, on 2 August 2012, with reference to the answer to Question no. 19 from the Budget Estimates hearings of the Rural and Regional and Transport Legislation Committee in May 2012, and given that the question did not seek the content of the legal advice:

(1) Was legal advice provided to Cabinet prior to the 7 June announcement?

(2) Has the Government received a claim for compensation as a result of its decision to impose a full ban on live export cattle to Indonesia?

(3) (a) Why was the draft advice never finalised; and (b) was this because Cabinet made a decision prior to any potential finalisation of the advice?


Senator Ludwig: The answer to the senator's question is as follows:

(1) It is a long standing practice of successive governments not to disclose cabinet deliberations.

(2) Please refer to evidence given at May Senate Estimates.

(3) (a) The department was in the process of changing legal advisors at the time. The request for advice overlapped with the department's transition to the new legal service provider. Finalisation was not requested because the department's service provider had changed.

(b) It is a long standing practice of successive governments not to disclose cabinet deliberations.